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Gigaclear to reach 150,000 more homes thanks to £111m investment

Friday, May 5th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Gigaclear has secured £111m in equity funding to continue its rollout of fibre broadband in rural areas.

The provider will use the investment to deliver fibre services to “hundreds of thousands” of premises in Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire – areas where it has won government-backed BDUK tenders.

The Financial Times reported this morning that 150,000 homes and businesses will be connected over the next three years.

Gigaclear’s fibre to the premises (FTTP) network extends to more than 30,000 homes and the company recently welcomed its 10,000th customer.

Matthew Hare, Gigaclear’s chief executive said: “Full fibre is the future.

“This latest round of investment will enable Gigaclear to step up our speed of network delivery and is a clear signal of the confidence investors have in our continued expansion and success.

“Millions of rural homes and businesses across the country need better broadband and we want to reach as many of those in rural areas as quickly as possible.

“Our pure fibre network transforms lives by providing access to the fastest internet speeds to be found anywhere in the world and technologically future-proofing these rural communities for years to come.”

Existing shareholders Infracapital and Woodford are investing £60m and £15m respectively, with £1m coming from other shareholders.

A further £35m will come from new investor RPMI Railpen, the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme.

Paul Bishop, investment director at Railpen, said: “As a long-term investor, we see the partnership with Gigaclear as a natural fit that will allow us to generate strong returns over time and fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.

“We are also delighted that the company will be supporting local communities by bringing the benefits of best-in-class fibre-optic broadband to homes and businesses in new parts of the country.”

Ed Clarke, co-founder and director of Infracapital, said: “Gigaclear has made significant progress since we made our original investment and we are proud to be supporting the team as they roll out this essential infrastructure in underserved areas of the country.”

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